Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. After yearning after Delirium for months, it became quite clear that it was certainly meant to be after it made not one but TWO rare appearances in the Express collection at the library (the first time there was an unfortunate incident including a much-needed library card renewal + fine paying fandango). Anyway, it was much anticipated and much enjoyed.
Delirium is pretty much everything that I like in a book: suspenseful, heartfelt, surprising, unique and of course, dystopian. I love anything dystopian, and this one definitely fit the bill. Lena lives in a not too distant future where Love is considered a disease, complete with a mandatory cure for everyone when they turn 18. The picture painted was so vivid and interesting, and all-encompassing in its own little bubble. Everything was realistic and seemingly plausible with plenty of links and references to our own society. Delirium marks the first book in a series, and I am definitely looking forward to the next books, if only to work out the huge cliffhanger we’re left with!
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian novels, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy in particular, since I found them really similar. It is also a perfect portrayal of romance that is so new, innocent, and real, it makes for a very amazing and genuine love story that is nothing but pure. It is described absolutely breathtakingly, and is probably my favourite component of the book.
Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!
From the minute that I picked up Delirium I knew that I would love it, and could tell that the imagery, scenery, and background would be rich, diverse, and convincing. Everything was so completely realistic, which I love about dystopian novels; I love it when they read almost allegorically.
Lena is a strong heroine marked by a painful past; a past that will come back to being her surprises and give her much needed strength in critical times. Her mother was never successfully cured, and although she has been scared and raised thinking that love is a disease (which is quite literally heartbreaking, in my opinion), she is always left with the memories of her mother, clinging to love despite the regulators ripping it away. She is finally brought to the point of suicide, or so Lena thinks. One of the huge surprises was that she actually was not dead, just being held prisoner in the lonely and rank Crypts: a jail for sympathizers or really anyone who disobeys.
Predictably, we see Lena start to break away from the norm (I mean, can you imagine if instead Oliver wrote about some goody-two-shoes who refused break the rules?... BOring!) and do the forbidden: talk to a boy. And more than that too. Lena falls in love with Alex. And it is the most pure and real and innocent love that I think I have ever read about. The fact that the idea of love in this society is so taboo made for such an abundant love that was so simple and honest. The description was so authentic and realistic; the writing was superb and exactly right, and I am still in awe at how perfectly Oliver captured the emotion so entirely.
The end. Wow. I still don't really know what to think about the bombshell at the end, and I really don't even know what to expect going into the second book (coming out March of 2012). I'm not as upset with Alex seemingly dead, as I usually am when someone so close to our protagonist gets taken away. Which is surprising, but I guess that really explains just how good the book was and how strong the heroine really was. Everything just felt good, and I really trust where the story is going, and where Lauren Oliver is sure to take me. I just know that there are great things in store for the next book, and I can't stress enough how much I loved the book. It felt completely right, and I don't really have any complaints other than the fact that it reminded me a little too much of the amazing existing dystopian series The Uglies.